NEPA and State NEPA - Environmental
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires government agencies to consider the potential impacts of their proposed actions in detailed environmental impact statements and assessments. Because of the need to obtain permits or approvals from federal agencies, private developers, natural resources companies, and transportation agencies often must get through a lengthy and costly NEPA process before they can even think about turning dirt. Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. has been involved with NEPA and state analogues (like New York’s SEQRA and California’s CEQA) since the earliest implementation of these statutes. Due in large part to our national reputation in this field and the excellent results we have obtained, Beveridge & Diamond has been hired by large state and even federal agencies to assist in the preparation of complex impact statements and then to defend those actions in federal courts around the country.
Over thirty years ago, Congress passed landmark legislation that ordered federal government agencies to consider the impacts to the environment of all proposals for "major federal action." The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is considered the father of all environmental statutes, and it led to the passage of analogous state and local statutes that require government agencies to consider the environmental impacts of various types of development projects. Since our inception, we have counseled private and public entities on NEPA compliance and have litigated some of the seminal NEPA and state environmental impact review cases.
Private development often requires government approval, and the preparation of an environmental impact review document. The environmental impact review process frequently covers the full spectrum of natural resource issues and socio-economic impacts. We are uniquely qualified to help clients through this process because of our experience in numerous areas of environmental and natural resources law. The geographic diversity of our practice provides us with experience with state and local environmental impact review programs, including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), and the New York City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) procedures.
Long before lawsuits commence, and with the goal of limiting or forestalling litigation, we routinely review and advise clients regarding the preparation of environmental impact review documents; manage the analysis of historic or cultural resources protected under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA); and coordinate and negotiate mitigation strategies with regulatory agencies. We also defend our clients in administrative hearings and other proceedings and in court when the opponents of a project seek to challenge compliance with environmental impact review procedures. Our clients' projects often depend on the successful resolution of the NEPA process and the defense of that process before administrative tribunals and federal judges. Our lawyers bring experience gained from the U.S. Department of Justice and the various resource agencies in federal and state government to obtain approvals for major development projects. State and federal agencies with oversight responsibilities over transportation and other development projects also regularly retain Beveridge & Diamond for compliance with environmental impact review requirements, as well as litigation support.
Our experienced lawyers have achieved excellent results for our clients, as the following examples illustrate.